(In Photo Ryan Whites Mustang on display at Children's Museum in Indianapolis)
Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS in 1984 at the age of 13 after he received an infected blood treatment for hemophilia.. At that time, AIDS was poorly understood, and despite doctors having said he posed no risk to other students, many parents and teachers rallied against his attendance when Ryan tried to return to school. A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the case made Ryan into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education.
In the late 80’s, Michael Jackson reached out to Ryan and befriended him. Ryan visited Neverland regulary and they both shared a special bond
Michael gave Ryan his favorite car, a red Mustang, as a gift a year before he died. Ryan White died at age 18 in 1990. Jeanne White-Ginder (Ryan's mother) said Michael sat with her and White's sister at the funeral.
At his funeral, White-Ginder said White's car was on display, and Michael started it and "Man in the Mirror" was playing.
"The little things made Michael so happy," she said. "You could see it in his eyes. He was smiling from ear to ear, and he said, 'I was the last person that Ryan listened to.' And I said 'yes.' Because Ryan played 'Man in the Mirror' over and over and over again."
The quote “Gonna Make A Difference, Gonna Make It Right” from “Man In The Mirror” was inscribed on Ryan’s grave.
Last July 2010, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis include Michael's gift to Ryan in their exhibit called "Rock Stars, Cars, and Guitars